A dramatic stoppage-time winner from Alex ensured new Paris Saint-Germain boss Laurent Blanc got off to a winning start as the the Ligue 1 champions came from behind to beat Girondins de Bordeaux 2-1 on Saturday in the Champions Trophy in Libreville, Gabon.
Blanc appeared to be heading for defeat on his competitive debut as PSG coach after Henri Saivet handed Coupe de France holders Bordeaux a first-half lead, but substitute Hervin Ongenda leveled eight minutes from time, before Alex snatched a late winning goal.
“It was a very, very difficult match against a good Bordeaux team that we respect and know well,” Blanc told BeIN Sport.
Leftback Lucas Digne, included among the substitutes, was the only one of PSG’s three highly priced new recruits named in the squad, with club record signing Edinson Cavani and Brazilian defender Marquinhos not considered ready to feature in the Gabonese capital.
Despite their absence, Ezequiel Lavezzi immediately gave Bordeaux’s defense a scare as he gathered a stray Ludovic Obraniak pass and forced a superb one-handed save from goalkeeper Cedric Carrasso.
A dangerous whipped free-kick from Thiago Motta had Bordeaux’s defense in trouble again, but Thiago Silva failed to properly connect with the goal at his mercy.
PSG were caught out on 38 minutes when Nicolas Maurice-Belay broke free on the left and crossed for Saivet, who sneaked in between Alex and Silva to send a glancing header in off the far post.
Andre Biyogo Poko, playing in front of his home fans, almost doubled Bordeaux’s lead after the interval as he charged through the heart of the PSG defense, only to be thwarted by Salvatore Sirigu.
Zlatan Ibrahimovic appeared to have drawn PSG level on 79 minutes after nodding in Christophe Jallet’s cross, but the Swede’s effort was ruled out for offside.
However, Blanc’s side did finally equalize moments later when Ongenda rounded off a flowing attack by slotting Ibrahimovic’s clipped pass through the legs of Carrasso.
Alex then capped off PSG’s remarkable turnaround five minutes into stoppage-time as he rose to meet a flighted Lucas Moura free-kick, sending a thumping header beyond Carrasso.